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By Paula Deen


Featured in:

Love & Best Dishes

Difficulty: Medium

Prep time: 8 hours

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: Makes 8 large meatballs


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound ground round beef
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 cups diced soft bread (about 4 slices of bread)
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • all-purpose flour, for rolling
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • pasta, for serving
  • pasta sauce, for serving


In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, using your hands, gently combine onion mixture, meats, bread, cheese, milk, eggs, parsley, salt, lemon juice, red pepper, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Shape into ½-cup meatballs. Refrigerate overnight.

Reshape balls, and roll in flour to coat.

In a skillet, fry meatballs, in batches, until browned on all sides.

In a large Dutch oven, pour water to a depth of about 3 inches, and heat over medium heat until simmering. Place meatballs, in batches, in water, and gently simmer until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of a meatball registers 160˚F. Remove from pot, and set aside. Serve with favorite pasta and sauce.